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What Is AP?

The Advanced Placement Program® is an academic program that offers university-level courses in specific subjects that you can take while you’re still in high school.

Each AP course culminates in an AP Exam, which tests the skills and knowledge that you learned in the course. AP Exams are standardized and globally recognized. Almost all U.S. and Canadian universities offer credit, advanced placement, or both for qualifying AP Exam scores.

AP courses and exams are available all over the world. Search for high schools in China that offer authorized AP courses.

Why Take AP?

  • To stand out to universities. Taking AP courses and doing well on AP Exams show admission officers that you’ve mastered university-level knowledge and skills. Nearly all universities in the U.S. and many universities around the world recognize AP Exam scores as a standardized measure of academic achievement.
  • To save money. Your AP Exam scores could earn you university credits before you enter university—which could save you money on tuition. Find AP credit and placement policies by university.
  • To save time. Your AP Exam scores could let you skip introductory courses in university. Use the extra time to take on a double major or an internship—or even graduate early.
  • To learn more about the topics you love. In an AP course, you’ll study a subject in more depth than you would in a regular high school class. 


Download a list of universities outside the U.S. that recognize AP for admission and/or credit or advanced standing.


How AP can help you stand out in university applications worldwide

BBC Worldwide Article

Taking AP Exams

AP Exams are given in May every year.  Any eligible student can take AP Exams, whether they’ve taken an AP course or not (except for AP Computer Science Principles, AP Seminar, and AP Research). However, the College Board strongly suggests that students complete the related AP courses before taking the exams.

In China, AP Exams are administered by two groups approved by the College Board:

  • Closed test centers (Approved international schools).—These schools administer exams to their own enrolled students (usually foreign passport holders). If you’re an international student (non-Chinese passport holder) in China and in need of a place to test, please contact AP Services for Students by March 2019 to locate an approved school that will administer May 2019 AP Exams to you. (new!) Students looking for a place to take May 2020 AP Exams should contact AP Services for Students by no later than September 4, 2019.
  • Authorized open test centers—see below for a list. These test centers only serve students (typically, but not limited to Chinese passport holders) who are enrolled at local schools. Test center registration for May 2019 AP Exams will open mid-December 2018.  (new!) Test centers will open and close registration much earlier (possibly September or October 2019 only) for May 2020 exams. View test center registration policies and instructions for updates about fall registration for May 2020 exams. 


Test Centers in China

The College Board works with the International Exchange and Cooperation Centre in Educational Measurement (IECC), China’s largest assessment company, to administer AP Exams at designated test centers.

Test centers are in the following cities (subject to change):

  • Beijing
  • Tianjin
  • Shanghai
  • Chongqing
  • Anhui Province: Hefei
  • Fujian Province: Fuzhou
  • Gansu Province: Lanzhou
  • Guangdong Province: Guangzhou, Shenzhen
  • Heilongjiang Province: Harbin
  • Henan Province: Zhengzhou
  • Hubei Province: Wuhan
  • Hunan Province: Changsha
  • Jiangsu Province: Nanjing, Changzhou, Jiangyin, Suzhou
  • Jiangxi Province: Nanchang
  • Jilin Province: Changchun
  • Liaoning Province: Shenyang
  • Shaanxi Province: Xian
  • Shandong Province: Jinan, Qingdao
  • Sichuan Province: Chengdu
  • Zhejiang Province: Hangzhou, Ningbo

AP Exam Schedule in China

2019 AP Exam schedule

2019 AP Exam schedule
Week 1 Morning 8 a.m. Afternoon 12 noon

May 6, 2019

 No exams

Environmental Science

May 7, 2019

 No exams

Physics 1: Algebra-Based

May 8, 2019

English Literature and Composition

European History

May 9, 2019



May 10, 2019

United States History

Computer Science Principles
(open only to students enrolled in an authorized AP CSP course at their school)

Physics 2: Algebra-Based

2019 AP Exam schedule
Week 2 Morning 8 a.m. Afternoon
12 noon
2 p.m.

May 13, 2019


Physics C: Mechanics

Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

May 14, 2019

Calculus AB

Calculus BC

Art History

Human Geography


May 15, 2019

English Language and Composition



May 16, 2019

World History



May 17, 2019


Computer Science A


Note: Check with the test center for the most up-to-date check-in and exam start times.

AP Exam Scores

AP Exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5. Score reports are available online in July to exam takers and to high schools that have AP programs. The College Board also sends an official score report to colleges of the exam taker’s choice.

Learn more about how to get and send your AP Exam scores.

A score of 3 or above typically qualifies students for credit, placement, or both at U.S. and Canadian universities. Over 600 universities outside the United States recognize qualifying AP Exam scores in the admission process.

Download a list of universities outside the U.S. that recognize AP.

Find credit or placement policies by university.



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Educator Resources


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